The deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., that claimed the lives of five journalists was quickly politicized by many members of the media — which is nothing new.
Fox News' @tracegallagher on Annapolis Capital Gazette shooting: "The paper itself doesn't appear very ideological. It's a local newspaper & they cover local topics. They do endorse candidates. I'm not sure if that upset anybody."
Would it matter if paper was "ideological? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/LS1XuJRev0
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 28, 2018
Now, Fox News is facing a backlash after its anchor Trace Gallagher suggested that the Capital Gazette’s political affiliation could have made it a target for the attack, though he quickly dismissed the idea, saying the paper “doesn’t appear very ideological.”
The comment came before Maryland authorities confirmed the identity of the alleged shooter. Jarrod Ramos had a long-running feud with the paper stemming from an article it published about a criminal harassment charge against him.
Still, many were appalled that Fox News would check the paper’s political leanings in order to uncover a possible reason for the attack.
To be fair, the American discourse in the days leading up to the shooting was less than civil between the right and left. While at a rally in West Columbia, S.C., this week, Trump referred to the “opposing” media as “the enemy of the people.”
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters also made headlines for promoting the harassment of Trump administration officials. She told a crowd to “push back” against White House employees.
Some, however, did not think the discourse justified Fox News looking into the newspaper’s political leanings as a possible reason for the attack.
Fox News is currently discussing whether any of Capital Gazette's coverage could have "provoked" a shooting.
— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) June 28, 2018
Fox News's Trace Gallagher says they checked into Capital Gazette's ideological bent and concluded that it was very much a local newspaper.
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) June 28, 2018
Fox News says they "checked in on the ideological bent" of the Capital Gazette but decided it was "very local" with no "major ideological bent" — then acknowledges they don't yet know if this is at all relevant to the motive. pic.twitter.com/wEPI5w2FHC
— David Mack (@davidmackau) June 28, 2018
Glad Fox News checked to see if they deserved to be murdered or not https://t.co/F2IIQSNEiO
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) June 28, 2018
There is nothing that journalists could write that would validate their slaughter. https://t.co/q5OEkIkoX6
— Steven Rich (@dataeditor) June 29, 2018
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